In a year when an ungodly amount of legends have parted from this world, a Princess’ time was cut short sooner than expected. Carrie Fisher burst on to our screens as the fearsome Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars and I have loved her ever since.
At a certain point in my childhood my Dad decided to introduce me to the phenomenon known as Star Wars. There were amazing space battles, intricate alien worlds and compelling characters. One character in particular caught my attention. A no-nonsense woman who took charge in dangerous situations, had an amazing quick wit and could shoot a blaster with the greatest of ease. She was unlike any princess I had seen before. She was no damsel in distress & more often than not saved the men with her quick thinking & sharp tongue. As with most fictional characters that I became obsessed with, I wanted to know more about the woman behind the character. It was then that I was introduced to the wonderful enigma that was Carrie Fisher.
Carrie often said that she didn’t play the part of Princess Leia, she was & forever will be Princess Leia. While I do agree with that statement, I also believe that Carrie left indelible marks in many other avenues as well. She was so much more than Princess Leia. She was an amazing writer and script doctor, comedian & mental illness advocate. As a writer myself, her brilliance with words constantly makes me challenge the words I decide to put to the page. If you are unfamiliar with her work, I suggest you check out her semi-autobiographical book, Postcards From the Edge (she also wrote the screenplay) & Wishful Drinking, a book which she eventually turned into a one-woman show that went to Broadway and lead to an HBO special. Weirdly enough, the day I heard of her heart attack, I was listening to her new book The Princess Diarist on my phone.
I’ve watched countless interviews & behind the scenes footage of Carrie over the years and not one of them has ever failed to make me laugh. Carrie had a ridiculous sense of humor and a dry wit that anyone would aspire to have. In addition to her comedy chops, she was also a tireless advocate for mental illness. Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and drug addiction, she was very open about her experiences in the hope that it would help others.
I struggled with my feelings and thoughts all day as I tried to come up with a coherent string of sentences to explain what Carrie Fisher meant to me. As I write this, I am wearing Star Wars pajamas with her face plastered all over them. She has unknowingly been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As Leia she taught me to be brave and stand up for what I believe in. As a writer she taught me to take risks and never apologize. As a person she taught me that it’s never too late to be true to yourself.
Thank you for blazing your own trail Carrie Fisher, and in doing so, helping others to discover their own. May the Force be with you, always.
*& just so you don’t leave here forlorn, here is a picture of Carrie Fisher giving the finger to 2016*
Per her request, I must end this post as Carrie would have wanted. “No matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”